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SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing features prominent speakers on funding, technology, and applications

13 May 2011

William Jeffrey, Kevin Meiners, Regina Dugan, Eustace Dereniak

DARPA Director Regina Dugan spoke of challenges for the R&D community in meeting the needs of defense, in a plenary talk at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing. From left are Symposium Chair William Jeffrey (HRL Labs), Symposium Cochair Kevin Meiners (Office of the Secretary of Defense), Dugan, and SPIE President-Elect Eustace Dereniak (Univ. of Arizona College of Optical Sciences).

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Key talks by DARPA Director Regina Dugan and Gen. James Cartwright, Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and panels including representatives of government funding agencies helped give attendees at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing a clear sense for R&D priorities in coming months.

Nearly 6,400 international researchers from government, industry, and academia attended the week's technical conferences, professional development courses, and 500-company exhibition at the Orlando, Florida, Marriott Resort and Convention Center 25-28 April.

The more than 2,400 technical presentations covered topics such as new infrared (IR) detectors for monitoring vegetation from space, laser systems for more accurate target-tracking, and multispectral imagery applications for locating and assessing oil spilled in the ocean

Dugan outlined in her symposium plenary talk DARPA's framework for global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), including how social media fits into the strategy.

Cartwright underscored in his banquet keynote talk the importance of leveraging the capabilities of technology, particularly when budget levels are threatened. Cartwright's talk appears in video here:

Cartwright was presented with the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Lifetime Achievement Award by Symposium Chair William Jeffrey (HRL Labs).

Sessions focusing on future trends and business opportunities were particularly well-attended. Among them:

  • A "roadmaps" session on displays chaired by Daniel Desjardins (Air Force Research Lab), providing U.S. Navy, Army, and Air Force roadmaps for future display requirements, e.g., day-night head-mounted and hand-held devices, WXGA full color with full-motion video, various forms of 3D, flexible and body-worn devices, and ubiquitous computing.
  • A panel moderated by Paul McManamon (Air Force Research Lab, Rtd.; Univ. of Dayton) on government funding trends and opportunities. Panelists were Edward Baranoski (IARPA), David Neyland (DARPA), and Jeffrey Smith (Air Force Research Lab).
  • A "hot topics" cross-conference panel moderated by John Pellegrino (Army Research Lab) on "Sensors are no longer king." Panelists were Robert Dixon (Office of Science and Technology Directorate for MASINT and Technical Collection), Charlie Flynn (MCCoE U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command), Jack Lemon (UK Ministry of Defence), Randy Avent (U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense), and Steven Rodgers (Air Force Research Lab).

Advances reported in the technical talks included work such as:

  • Philippe Chorier, et al., (paper 8012-1) described Sofradir's IR imaging systems for tactical and space missions for monitoring vegetation.
  • Jim Riker (Air Force Research Lab) (paper 8052-01) described use of an illumination and tracking system that has been successfully used in the Airborne Laser, the Airborne Tactical Laser, and the Tactical High-Energy Laser programs.
  • Manijeh Razeghi (Northwestern Univ.) (8023-01) discussed the progress towards a compact, room-temperature, electrically driven, terahertz source.
  • Sylvia Shen (Aerospace Corp.) and Paul Lewis (8048-18) (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) provided insights on the analysis done last year using the Environmental Protection Agency's Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) to assess the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The talk was one of several events presenting sensing and imaging technologies used in the Deepwater Horizon event.

Joe Buck (Boulder Nonlinear Systems), a member of the National Academies committee developing the Harnessing Light II report on the photonics industry to inform policy and support R&D funding directions, fielded questions in a town hall session.

Aydogan Ozcan (Univ. of California, Los Angeles) was presented with the 2011 SPIE Early Career Achievement Award by SPIE President-Elect Eustace Dereniak (Univ. of Arizona College of Optical Sciences).

Five of this year's 67 new SPIE Fellows were honored: Fredric Marvin Ham (Florida Institute of Technology), Sanjay Krishna (Center for High Technology Materials), Susan Davis Allen (Univ. of Arkansas), Alexander Toet (TNO Defence Security and Safety), and Kalluri Sarma (Honeywell Technology).

SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing will move in 2012 from Orlando to the Baltimore, Maryland, Convention Center. Dates are 23-27 April.


DARPA Director Regina Dugan plenary talk

DARPA Director Regina Dugan addressed an audience of more than 1,100 in her symposium plenary talk at the recent SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. SPIE provided over $2.3 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2010.


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